Apply for a child employment licence

Use this guide to find relevant child employment and chaperone licences and permits.

Apply for a Body of Persons Approval licence

If a large group of children are performing, a Body of Persons Approval (also known as BOPA, BOP or BOPe) may be required.

Organisations that are usually required to individually licence any children taking part in performances can apply for a BOPA. This will allow children to take part in performances without individual licences being applied for.

This type of exemption is designed to facilitate large numbers of children (20 or above), and to help reduce the paperwork required for a child performance (entertainment) application. The application must be made to the local authority of where the performance is taking place.

Who can use this service?

Organisations putting on non-professional or amateur productions can apply for the approval. This could be amateur dramatic societies, operatic societies and dance schools, who would normally have to licence the children taking part in a performance.

The application must be received from the chair or leader of the organisation and seconded by another adult group member. If any of these people change during the time of the licence’s validity, we must be informed as soon as possible. An individual person cannot apply.

The term 'amateur' is defined as where no adult, child performer, or person on behalf of the child performer in a performance, receives payment.

In order for an organisation to be able to apply for a BOPA licence exemption, the following criteria must be met:

  • All rehearsals and performances must take place in the area covered by Lambeth. If any rehearsals or performances are taking place in other counties, those local authorities must also be approached.
  • Children must not require time off school to take part in either rehearsals or performances.
  • A child, or another person on behalf of the child, must not receive payment for their part in the rehearsal or performance.
  • The applicant cannot act as a chaperone either for the rehearsal or performance.
  • The applicant must agree to abide by the terms and conditions laid out in the Contract of Agreement (the Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014).
  • The application must be accompanied with the contract of agreement and the child and chaperone details form below.
  • The organisation must have a completed child safeguarding policy and provide a copy with their application.
  • The organisation must have a dedicated Child Welfare (Safeguarding) Officer.
  • The organisation keeps detailed and complete records of children involved with the group, including emergency contact details.
  • The ratio of Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)-checked members of staff (as approved by the applicant) to licensed chaperones must not exceed 10:1.
  • The ratio of children to a licensed chaperone, or DBS-checked member of staff (as approved by the applicant) must not exceed 12:1.
  • The organisation must maintain an ongoing and updated list of registered chaperones that meet the demands of the numbers of children likely to be engaged in their productions.

Cost for this service

There is no charge for this service.

What you need to know...

Fully completed applications for a BOPA must be submitted at least 21 days before the first performance is due to take place, together with all the required documentation.

Download and complete

Next steps

Once you have completed the form, please send it to the Child Employment Team.